Access to the Van Gogh Museum library is through ADLIB Bibliotheek. This online library catalogue lists books, articles, journals (current subscriptions at present not included) and audiovisual media.
Catalogue sections can be consulted individually or collectively by choosing the Full library catalogue. It is also possible to search for auctions and exhibitions.
Although the library's entire collection has been entered into the online catalogue, this has not yet been fully cross-referenced as books acquired before 1990 have still to be provided with keywords. Of course, these works can already be found using information such as the author's name, title, publisher and ISBN number.
Visit the Van Gogh Museum library's online catalogue
Search options include title word, author, publisher and keyword. A Simple search screen opens immediately. Select Advanced search for more (combined) search options. Type in one or more search terms and click Search or <Enter> to initiate a search.
Diacriticals and capitals
Capital letters are not required. Nor do diacritical characters affect a search: 'Cézanne', 'Cezanne' and 'cezanne' all produce the same results.
Enter the author's surname in this field; for example 'janssen, j'. Note that first names are abbreviated to initials in the catalogue, and capital letters are not required. It is also possible to search for part of a surname. An author's name is automatically truncated from the right, which means that all names starting with the letters entered will be listed. So a search for 'jan' will produce publications by authors such as Janas, Janakova, Janse, Jansen and Janssen.
The index of authors can also be consulted during a search. After entering (part of) the author's name in the author field, click on the list button to obtain this index, which lists authors whose names resemble the name entered. Clicking on a name in this index will immediately initiate the search. Clicking on moves this name to the search screen.
Enter one or more words from the title in this field. The word order does not affect the search. An automatic AND links all the words in the search, so that only titles that include all the words will be selected. Other search options are available on the Advanced search page, including OR, whereby one of two words must appear in the title, and NOT, whereby one word but not another must feature in the title.
It is also possible to search for parts of words. A word in a title is automatically truncated from the right. This means that all words starting with the letters entered will be listed. A search for art, for example, will also produce titles that include the word artist. Note that the more general the title word, the wider the search result will be. So a search for art will produce over 3,500 titles.
Do not use definite or indefinite articles in a search.
Keywords are listed in Dutch, generally in the plural. A search by keyword will also produce publications in other languages. The list function allows a search for keywords that are similar to the keyword submitted. To search for combinations of keywords, use the Advanced search option.
The Person keyword option also allows a search for institutions, such as 'Van Gogh Museum'.
All the library's journals are listed here, with the exception of current subscriptions at present. However, not all the journals listed in the journal section are held by the Van Gogh Museum, as this also incorporates an index of article titles from the article database. Journals held by the library are indicated by a location code and holding details (volume/year and, where appropriate, issue number). If this information does not appear in the record, the journal in question is not held by the library, and the entry refers to an article. To find out more about the article, search for the journal title in the article database.
The library catalogue only lists articles relevant to Van Gogh-related research or documentation of the museum collection. The article database also lists copies of articles from journals not held by the library .
Search options for exhibitions include place, venue and start and end dates. It is also possible to search for a (complete) exhibition title. Enter either the exact title of the exhibition, or the first few words of the title, omitting the initial word if this is a definite or indefinite article. Although most exhibition titles are the same as that of the catalogue, some differ. To find a exhibition catalogue using individual words, use the Full library catalogue search screen or the book database.
At present it is not yet possible to combine exhibition (venue) and bibliographical information in a search.
Search options for auctions include place, auction house, venue and start and end date. The venue name is only recorded if this differs from the name of the auction house. The old library system, which was used until recently, did not distinguish between auction house and venue, so a search by venue will only produce a few results at present. This is also the case with the commissaire-priseur/auctioneer index (Advanced search).
Search results are presented in a list, with the title, author and date of publication. The number of titles found is indicated to the right of the search result. A maximum of twenty titles are displayed per page. Use the scroll bar to view the whole page. If a search produces more than one page, use the arrows below to navigate from page to page.
To view the complete title, place the cursor on the title and click the left mouse button. To return to the list, click on List.
Navigating between results
Search results can be used to navigate further in the catalogue. It is possible to click on any of the terms underlined in the extended description. Terms that offer further access include the author's name, publisher, series title, keyword, geographical keyword and person keyword.
Click on New search.
Click on Refine search if too many results are found. It is possible to combine one search term with another. Note that a search term used in a previous search will automatically lapse when moving from a simple search to an advanced search.